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TURKEY > Galatasaray agrees with Inter in Sneijder chase

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

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In this Aug. 26, 2012 file photo, Inter Milan's Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Pescara and Inter Milan, at the Adriatico stadium in Pescara, Italy. AP photo

In this Aug. 26, 2012 file photo, Inter Milan's Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Pescara and Inter Milan, at the Adriatico stadium in Pescara, Italy. AP photo

Galatasaray has agreed to terms with Inter for the trade of Wesley Sneijder, and the transfer is now down to the persuasion of the Dutch superstar, Turkish media reported today.

The Istanbul club agreed to pay eight million euros to the Italian giants in its bid to sign the star midfielder, daily Vatan reported today.

The Lions will try to make Sneijder agree a lucrative salary, however, news reports claim that the 28-year-old player is willing to listen to other offers, presumably from top European clubs.

Vatan added that Galatasaray offered an initial payment of six million euros in addition to 3.2 million euros yearly salary and 25.000 euros per appearance to the player.

Today’s reported agreement between Galatasaray and Inter came a day after the Istanbul club officially announced that it was in talks with the Italians on the signing of Sneijder.

Galatasaray made the announcement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB) just hours after chairman Ünal Aysal confirmed that they approached Inter Milan for the star.

“We had lunch with Inter chairman Massimo Moratti [on Jan. 7],” Aysal told a group of reporters on the club’s official television channel, GS TV. “We talked about how we can cooperate in youth systems. The Sneijder issue was on the table as well. We have made positive progress about this transfer. I think it will be cleared in the coming days.”

Due to Turkish football clubs being active in the stock exchange as companies, clubs have an obligation to inform the public about transactions. Clubs rarely announce that they are in talks unless they are close to finalizing a deal due to Capital Markets Board (SPK) regulations.

However, the summer of 2011 saw Galatasaray announce that it was in talks with Atletico Madrid for Jose Antonio Reyes, Diego Forlan and Tomas Ujfalusi, but the club ended up signing only the latter.

Now, persuading Sneijder to continue his career in Istanbul will be the key to the transfer.

When questioned about any potential switch to Istanbul, Sneijder’s agent, Soren Lerby, told De Telegraaf, “Every day there is a new club linked with Wesley. For that reason I have decided not to answer any more questions.”

“England probably has the top league in Europe, so it could be appealing, but Wes would want to play for a top team,” Lerby told BBC Sport last week in response to rumors that Premier League clubs are also chasing Sneijder.

The Dutchman has reportedly attracted the interest of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and even the Queens Park Rangers from the Premier League.

Although he was instrumental in Inter’s Champions League victory in 2010, Sneijder fell out of favor at the Italian giants since the departure of coach Jose Mourinho and participated in just five matches this season under coach Andrea Stramaccioni. Despite a disappointing campaign, the Dutchman remains one of the highest-profile midfielders in the game today and might be a game-changer for whichever club he decides to ply his trade to.

With that in mind, Galatasaray fans took to social media after the club’s announcement late Jan. 7, sending messages not only about Sneijder but also to his wife Yolanthe, brother Rodney, and even his mother Sylvia, to persuade the superstar to move to Istanbul.

“Istanbul is definitely nice!” Yolanthe Sneijder-Cabau responded to one of hundreds of tweets. “Have been there many times, love Turkey! But what will happen I do not know, honey.”

January/09/2013

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